Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Newton Pleads Guilty to Three Felony Charges

If there was any doubt, this ought to erase it:

Newton, who resigned Monday, acknowledged in court that he accepted a $5,000 bribe in exchange for helping the director of a nonprofit job training agency secure a $100,000 grant.
...
Newton also admitted filing false tax returns and diverting $40,000 in campaign contributions for personal use over five years, which is considered mail fraud because the financial reporting forms were mailed.

Prosecutors said Newton used the money as his personal piggy bank, writing checks for services that weren't actually performed and then having those checks signed over to him. (Apuzzo)

Newton, as is often repeated, rose to the State Senate from the poorest neighborhood in Bridgeport. He's been a constant champion of the poor, and is still widely admired in his district. But he succumbed, in the end, to... what? Greed? Power? Madness?

Newton is a tragic figure, more like Jason or Macbeth than the Moses he claims to be. Even now he is at once noble and wicked: his plea deal is sparing another from prosecution. Newton, corrupt though he was, fell on his sword for someone else. Unlike the dramatic fall of Governor Rowland last year, Newton's resignation and conviction brings neither satisfaction nor triumph... only relief.

...The special election to replace him has been set for November 14th. Newton will be sentenced December 19th.

Sources
Apuzzo, Matt. "Newton Pleads Guilty." Hartford Courant 20 September, 2005.

12 comments:

Chris Mc said...

I had to admire the way Bridgeport Sen. Bill Finch stuck by his friend and colleague when there was obviously no good reason (politically) for him to show up at Newton's announcement.

That kind of friendship is rare anyplace in life, nevermind politics. The guy's got stones.

Disgrunted Dem said...

Chirs MC...c'mon! Newton is an embarassment to Bridgeport and to the Democratic party. How can we led a guy like this get as high in the Senate leadership as we did? And how can Finch stand by him...isn't that the same thing we criticized Aniscovich for last year with Rowland?

I am all for party loyalty, but let's admit when someone has been dishonest. Have fun with Rowland, Sylvester, and the rest of the crew Ernie!

On a separate topic...what is wrong wtih Finch? He is in a swing seat being targeted by the Republicans and he is coming out in FAVOR of eminant domain for private development. He is on the side of the developers over working class people? This is what we are Democrats for? Not only is he wrong, but 80%+ of people disagree with him and the Supreme Court.

Way things are going in Bridgeport, we might as well hand the Senate to the Republicans.

disgruntled dem said...

Chirs MC...c'mon! Newton is an embarassment to Bridgeport and to the Democratic party. How can we led a guy like this get as high in the Senate leadership as we did? And how can Finch stand by him...isn't that the same thing we criticized Aniscovich for last year with Rowland?

I am all for party loyalty, but let's admit when someone has been dishonest. Have fun with Rowland, Sylvester, and the rest of the crew Ernie!

On a separate topic...what is wrong wtih Finch? He is in a swing seat being targeted by the Republicans and he is coming out in FAVOR of eminant domain for private development. He is on the side of the developers over working class people? This is what we are Democrats for? Not only is he wrong, but 80%+ of people disagree with him and the Supreme Court.

Way things are going in Bridgeport, we might as well hand the Senate to the Republicans.

Chris MC said...

There's no defending Newton. He did wrong, he's pled guilty. Can't disagree with you about him being an embarrassment to the party, he is. I just think it took something for Finch, knowing all that, to be there for his friend.

Conn-tiki said...

See, I'm always surprised by just how little it takes for a politician to sell out. I mean, $5,000? That's 1/20th of the grant amount! I wouldn't sell out for anything less than 20%!

(Note: I am totally kidding. About the selling out part)

CTObserver said...

You're certainly right about the low price Newton sold out for. Especially in comparison with the hundreds of thousands of dollars taken by Droney, DiBella, Kelly et al for finder's fees, trading on connections, etc.

Anonymous said...

No doubt, Ernie could have done much better done business with Silvester and Rowland.

Anonymous said...

Did Lowell Weicker open the door to a run against Joe Lieberman in 06 at the First congregational Church in Old Lyme last Night?

The converstaion with the people who were there afterwards certainly seems to think he did.

ctblogger said...

Weiker, that would be rather interesting.

Any confirmation on this converstaion? Haven't heard about this in the press but I'm out of the country and away from my contacts...

Genghis Conn said...

Bruce and Colin were talking about a possible Weicker/Lieberman rematch today on their show.

It would be really interesting to watch, if it happened. But I don't think it'll happen, more's the pity.

Anonymous said...

Genghis,

May I suggest you call Colin and get a tape of his forum from last night.

Mr. Weicker was indeed letting it be known that although he would love to spend the rest of his days doing the work he loves and spending his time with his wife he is about "pissed off enough" to "jump back in".

Lowell never let his country down,always put country in front of party and is still a better man than almost any of the 100 who wear the title of Senator today.

Anonymous said...

Well at least the rest of them won't have to worry too much